Ontario entering province-wide shutdown starting Saturday

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 5, 2021

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the province is "pulling the emergency brake" and all 34 health units in Ontario will move "into shutdown" (the level above Grey-Lockdown) as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, 2021 for a minimum of four weeks.

The shutdown comes as Ontario's COVID-19 Science Table released new modelling data showing that without a new order, the province will be unable to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants. "The variants of concern are spreading rapidly", Ford said.

"This is a new pandemic, we are now fighting a new enemy". The processes we now have in place to protect staff and members of the public are in compliance with the new measures announced by the Province, and will ensure ongoing business continuity as we continue to deliver the essential municipal services on which our community relies.

Six public health regions, including Toronto's and Hamilton's, are now in the grey "lockdown" zone of the province's colour-coded system.

As expected, Doug Ford has announced Ontario will enter an "emergency brake shutdown" for the next month.

Gyms and personal care services must also cease operations.

In-person dining (indoor and outdoor) is prohibited.

Non-essential retail can operate at 25 percent capacity.

The lockdown, similar to current restrictions under the grey zone, will see essential stores - such as groceries and pharmacies - remain open at 50 percent capacity.

Ontarians are allowed to gather indoors only with members of their own household and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.

The rules are slightly more lax for religious, wedding and funeral services in Ontario, however, with indoor events permitted to host up to 15 per cent of a room's capacity.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce stated that schools would remain open during the lockdown.

Durham Region Health Department reported 104 new cases Wednesday, with 22 cases reported in Oshawa.

"We can not vaccinate quickly enough to break this third wave".

She said the latest shutdown stands to further erode her struggling industry, saying stylists and other beauty workers can't hold on much longer.

Over the same time, the WDGPH case positivity rate has increased from 1.3% to 1.9%.

Earlier this week, the president of Ontario's Hospital Association (OHA), said hospitals reached a record high with at least 421 COVID-19 patients now in the province's intensive care units.

The last stay-at-home order and shutdown in the province lifted in mid-February.

Health officials have previously stated that if ICU admissions surpass 500, it would have a devastating impact on the province's health care system.

By applying this "emergency brake", we will bridge the gap until the mass amounts of vaccine anticipated for delivery arrive in Ontario in the next few weeks. Warner says the whole family is now sick and the woman recently needed to be intubated. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

Brown said the province's vaccine rollout is not reaching the highest risk communities, hampering its impact as an effective strategy to fight the pandemic.

The colour-coded framework will be paused while the province is under the four-week shutdown.

But while the stay-at-home order may not have been well received, it did seem to stop people from coming into the big-box drugstore where 22-year-old Odessa Ordanza works as a cashier in Mississauga, Ont.

The opposition NDP accused Ford of walking Ontario into the shutdown "with eyes wide open". "That is our best protection against this deadly virus", Ford added.

"He marched us right into grave danger".

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